Mekong Delta 2016: historic drought, saline intrusion destroys crops
VietNamNet Bridge - Dried fields, cattle dying of thirst, expensive drinking water, sea water overflowing houses. In 2016, the lives of millions of people in Mekong Delta, Central Highlands and central region were upset because of drought and salinity intrusion.

vietnamnet bridge, english news, Vietnam news, news Vietnam, vietnamnet news, Vietnam net news, Vietnam latest news, Vietnam breaking news, vn news,  Mekong Delta, flood, saline

In the first months of 2016, when the north saw record spells of cold, the central and southern regions suffered a historic drought and saline intrusion caused by El Nino.

The natural calamity faded fertile fields and withered crops. In Central Highlands, vast coffee hills were ‘burned to death’ and turned into firewood.

In shrimp farming areas, shrimp could not grow because of salt water. Oysters died because of the lack of water, while cattle died because of thirst. The images of people with tears in their eyes because of the cattle deaths and crop failure could be seen in many local newspapers.

In an attempt to save rice fields, farmers had to dig wells to get fresh water to pump to crops fields and buy dry straw at sky high prices to feed cattle. 

In Ben Tre province, fresh water was compared with gold, because the price of drinking water was much more expensive than rice.

The then Minister of Agriculture Cao Duc Phat confirmed at official conferences that people’s lives were seriously affected by the lack of clean water. While Hanoians had to pay VND5,000 only for one cubic meter of clean water, Ben Tre’s people had to spend VND60,000-80,000.

In Ben Tre province, fresh water was compared with gold, because the price of drinking water was much more expensive than rice.

The southern part of the central region, the Central Highlands, the eastern part of the southern region and Mekong Delta were affected the most. In the south central region, the production was suspended on 23,000 hectares of rice fields because of the lack of water. The worst provinces included Binh Dinh, Ninh Thuan, Binh Thuan and Khanh Hoa.

It is estimated that 15,823 hectares of industrial crops in the Central Highlands and 28,000 hectares in the eastern part of the southern region were affected. About 290,000 households had been reported lacking water for daily use by the end of May.

The natural calamity devastated agricultural production, leading to minus growth rate of 0.18 percent in the first six months of the year.

In mid-March 2016, when the hydropower plants on the upper course of Mekong discharged water, the drought in Mekong Delta eased. The ‘golden rains’ in late April and early May also helped ease the salinity of the rivers and saved crops.

However, in the long term, agriculture experts say saline intrusion should not be considered the ‘enemy’, because people can take advantage of salinity to organize production. 


related news

Bao Han

vietnamnet bridge, english news, Vietnam news, news Vietnam, vietnamnet news, Vietnam net news, Vietnam latest news, Vietnam breaking news, vn news, Mekong Delta, flood, saline
 
*
*
*
  Send